6 Steps to Successful Procurement Transformations – Step 1: Know Your Customer

This series looks at the key considerations in transforming your procurement function and building a modern, fit for purpose, procurement function.  This can look very different in different organisations depending on the goals of the business, the industry, and the maturity of the team.

Understanding the vision

The first priority in any transformation is understanding the vision, goals and strategy of your organisation.  The level to which these are articulated varies greatly in our experience, and the only way to get an accurate understanding of them is to take time to get in front of the senior decision makers and interview them.  The interview should include questions about:

  • Their strategy, long term and short term;
  • Challenges they are facing;
  • Their view of how the market is changing; and of course
  • Their view of the importance of strategic supplier engagements.

The outputs of these interviews will highlight the areas of opportunity and help you to accurately understand the challenges facing your organisation.  The effort taken up front to document the challenges will mean that you are able to focus your efforts in solving the relevant problems and develop a target operating model for your function that is most appropriate.

There are several tools to help with this step including stakeholder analysis, stakeholder mapping and goal alignment.

In the next step, I will discuss some ideas on how to understand the existing capabilities of your procurement function and build a solid starting point for your transformation to maximise the probability of its success.

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